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Video Game: Tomb Raider II

Don't you think you've seen enough?

Tomb Raider II is the second game in the Tomb Raider series. The sequel to Tomb Raider, it was released in 1997 for the PlayStation and PC; a Sega Saturn version was planned but dropped due to technical limitations. The next year, another sequel was released, titled Tomb Raider III.

Lara is after the legendary Dagger of Xian, which is said to give its owner "the power of a dragon". She finds herself in conflict with Italian mob boss/cult leader Marco Bartoli, who is after the same item. Locations in the game include Venice, an offshore oil rig, the sunken ocean liner Maria Doria, Tibet and the Great Wall of China.

The game was generally considered as an Even Better Sequel, although many considered it to have too much combat.

Creator Toby Gard left Core Design during the development of this game, due to "Creative Differences" (he was unhappy with Lara's oversexualisation), and co-founded Confounding Factor. Their first game was Galleon, a Spiritual Successor to Tomb Raider that took about ten years to make. It was actually pretty damn good, but bombed on release. Confounding Factor closed down shortly afterward.

This game features examples of:

  • 100% Completion: Like in the previous game, there are hidden areas or locations that require specific movements to reach. Unlike the previous game, each secret contains a dragon statue that grants nothing at first. However, collecting all 3 statues in a level rewards you with a hefty supply of ammo, health kits, or sometimes a new gun if you didn't get it yet. Getting all the secrets is just for pure bragging rights.
  • Actionised Sequel: Much more gunplay and human enemies to be found and fought in this game, and this was one basis of criticism compared to the predecessor.
  • Ancient Tradition: The many rituals surrounding the Dagger of Xian.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The grenade launcher, both the weapon itself and where it's found.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: After finishing the final level, Lara goes to take a shower and is about to undress until she turns to face you and says "Don't you think you've seen enough?" before grabbing her shotgun and shooting the camera out.
  • Book Ends: The game starts at the Great Wall of China and the end of Lara's adventure also ends at the same location (excluding the epilogue level, Home Sweet Home).
  • Continuity Nod: When starting the tutorial level, Lara mentions that after that gruelling business last year, she decided to build an assault course to build up her skills.
  • Deadly Rotary Fan: The Opera House has several of them inside vents and there's many slopes that will gladly send you sliding to your doom if you stumble upon them. The Oil Rig has fans that are much larger, underwater, and can suck you into them with their currents.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Thanks to the ability to save at any point, dying is trivial as long as you save frequently. The trope is much more apparent on the PC version where you can save across multiple slots without any loading whatsoever, in a way similar to save states. Of course, like save states, this feature shouldn't be abused, lest Lara find herself in an inescapable situation...
  • Dual Wielding: It wouldn't be a Tomb Raider game without this trope. Lara's signature twin pistols return, along with dual semi-automatic pistols and dual uzis.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Lara travels throughout the Tibetan mountainside wearing nothing but her shorts and a leather jacket, which aren't exactly suitable for a cold region. Lara can swim in the Tibetan waters without suffering from hypothermia as well (these were all averted in the next game).
  • Living Statue: Frozen jade warriors appear in the penultimate levels of the game; they animate after Lara does certain things near them. A glitch in the PC version allows Lara to damage them with grenades while they're still frozen, allowing her to pick them off easily once they wake up.
  • Lost Forever: Did you blow up the side of the opera house in Bertoli's Hideout? Congrats, for you just blew up the jade dragon statue and screwed yourself out of a secret.
  • No-Gear Level: Lara gets captured by Bartoli's crew and is locked up in the oil rig with all of her guns taken away. You're forced to dodge gunmen and solve a few puzzles before you can get your pistols back.
  • Plunger Detonator: Seen near the end of Bartoli's Hideout, though Lara needs to find the key before she can use it.
  • Point of No Return: Some levels have certain points that will prevent you from backtracking. Go past that point and you will miss out on any items and secrets you didn't find.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Your first enemy encounter is a tiger (which is similar to the bears from TR1 difficulty-wise), not a bat. You'll encounter deadly traps in the deeper parts of the first level. Things only escalate from there.
  • Sequence Breaking: Normally, you'd have to find and use the detonator key to blow up the side of the opera house so that you can use its rubble to climb up and reach the level's exit. By not blowing up the building, not only do you find the jade dragon statue, but you can also use some barely reachable ledges to get behind the structure and reach the exit without having to use the explosives in the first place, which saves you a few minutes.
  • Shmuck Bait: 40 Fathoms' Silver Dragon sits at the end of a room in plain sight. If Lara just runs towards it, 4 disguised trapdoors fall out below her and dump her into a gunfight with some goons.
  • Spikes Of Doom: You encounter them right in the first level in two flavours: pit of spikes and walls of spikes closing in on you. For the modern areas like the sunken ship or the opera house, you'll encounter pits of broken glass shards that serve the same purpose as spike pits. The Temple of Xian is also full of spiky death traps.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: In the Wreck of the Maria Doria, a large medipack is placed in plain sight. In the fall that follows, Lara cannot avoid losing health; how much depends on the actions of the player. Then in the final level of the wrecked ship, there's a large health kit placed right before a very long drop to a raft below. The developers placed the health kit there so that you can survive the fall and you have no other way of approaching the raft anyway. Trying to jump down without full health will kill you instantly.
  • The Mafia: The main antagonists of the game and doubles as a cult. Their leader, Marco Bartoli, seeks out the Dagger of Xian so that he can claim its powers for himself.
  • Tutorial Failure: A strange case where the tutorial in a sequel does a worse job at explaining Lara's moves while the first game did a better job. You won't actually learn how to perform Lara's moves until you botch a section in the obstacle course, which will lead to a lot of trial and error. This was most likely due to the developers assuming that people already played the first game and remembered the mechanics.
  • Tutorial Level: Lara's obstacle course on her mansion grounds, which are separate from the main game itself. The obstacle course tests your skills with running, jumping, climbing, and swimming and you can set your personal best times as well.
  • Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: Averted for the mooks that use them against you. Being on fire will kill you in a matter of seconds unless you happen to be near a deep pool of water.
  • Warrior Monk: The Barkhang Monks in the Barkhang Monastery level use only spears to defend themselves with, but they have a lot of health and are capable of killing Bartoli's gunmen on their own. In fact, it's usually preferable for the player to just watch the fight and either finish off any gunmen that survive or pick up the item dropped by the gunmen if the monks survive.